INFORMAL PEER CONSULTATIONS
Informal Peer Consultations are teaching observations to support faculty development in effective teaching practices through supportive feedback from teaching observations and mentorship from experienced and successful teaching faculty members.
Who participates in Informal Peer Consultations?
- All UTA full-time faculty of any rank (adjunct, lecture, tenure track, non-tenure track, tenured - associate and full) are welcome to participate in Informal Peer Consultations.
When are Informal Peer Consultations conducted and what courses are observed?
- Observation can be conducted in all course modalities (on-campus, online, hybrid, blended, etc.) and type (lecture, lab, studio, etc.).
- Observations can be completed in any time during the year. Full-time faculty just need to be currently teaching a course during the observation.
How often are Informal Peer Consultations needed and when should they start?
- Full-time faculty are encouraged to start participating in Informal Peer Consultations beginning in their second year of teaching.
- Full-time faculty are encouraged to have at least one Informal Peer Consultation a year, but can request additional consultations as needed.
Who conducts the Informal Peer Consultations and is there documentation?
- Informal Peer Consultations are conducted by a trained faculty members, certified and experienced faculty members in the area of teaching and learning, and/or faculty members from The Academy of Distinguished Teachers. Faculty peer observers are only observing and consulting in teaching and learning practices and not evaluating content material.
- All consultation appointments are confidential and documentations recorded/collected from the observations are under the ownership of the individual faculty member.
- Documents included in the Informal Peer Consultations are: pre-conference, observation feedback, post-conference, and reporting form.
Why participate in Informal Peer Consultations?
- For tenure-track faculty, Informal Peer Consultations are precursors to the Formal Peer Review Observation (or Peer Review). The Informal Peer Consultations assist tenure-track faculty in preparation for their 3rd-year review and subsequent tenure and promotion process which requires evidence a Formal Peer Review was conducted.
- For non-tenure-track or other referred faculty members, Informal Peer Consultations support the continual development and improvement of teaching and learning practices. Faculty members can submit the Informal Reporting Form in their annual reviews or department chairs/deans.
Need a Formal Peer Observation?
Step-by-Step Process for Informal Peer Consultations
- To request an Informal Peer Consultation, complete and submit the request form.
- The request form is processed and a peer observer is assigned to the faculty member (often within 7-10 business days). The faculty member should be aware of time commitments and availability of the peer observer and plan accordingly in scheduling the observation.
- The peer observer contacts the faculty member to set up a time for the pre-observation meeting. During the pre-observation meeting the faculty member and peer observer discuss teaching goals and learning objectives and the faculty member completes the Pre-Observation Meeting form (with a final signature from the peer observer). This meeting should take about 10-15 minutes and completed prior to scheduled course observation time.
- The peer observer will observe the course during the scheduled time and the peer observer completes the Course Observation Form (with a final signature from the faculty member).
- The peer observer and faculty member will set up a post-meeting (often within 72 hours after the course observation, however, it is recommended to conduct the post-meeting immediately following the observation). During the post-observation meeting, the faculty member and peer observer reflect upon the observed course session and the faculty member completes the Post-Observation Meeting form (with a final signature from the peer observer). This meeting should take about 15-30 minutes.
- After the post-observation meeting, the faculty member completes the Reporting Form (with final signature from the peer observer). The faculty members can submit the completed Reporting Form in their annual reviews and/or referred faculty members to their Department Chairs/Dean.
- The peer observer gives all the completed documents (Pre-Observation Meeting, Course Observation Form, Post-Observation Meeting, and Reporting form) to the faculty member for their personal records.
HINT: Download the form onto your device then either print out paper versions and complete with a pen OR utilize the 'save as' feature by retitling the document with the faculty member name in order to keep the fillable items on the document.